America, Protect Your Own Interests, Not Israel’s

“The Palestinians’ bid for statehood in the United Nations is not in the United States’ interests,” a U.S. State Department official said to me in a closed meeting a few months ago. “Therefore, the United States cannot support the Palestinian move.”

What a sham. Last month, this same State Department sent out messages to over 70 countries urging them not to vote for a State of Palestine later this month in the General Assembly. The Americans even purportedly threatened the Palestinians with a cut in aid if they go through with the vote (even though they later denied this). In short, the Americans are working just as hard, if not harder, than Israel to foil the Palestinians’ attempt at recognition.

The question is why and just how much more hypocrisy can the US get away with and still be considered the leader of the free world and champion of democracy?

Let’s break it down. “The Palestinians’ bid for statehood in the United Nations is not in the United States’ interests.” This statement alone is enough get eyes rolling and tongues clicking. How can a free and independent Palestine along internationally recognized borders (recognized even by the US) be contradictory to US interests? Even if the US wanted to follow its own vacuous policy of encouraging the two parties to reach a solution on their own, the Palestinian vote at the UN is not counterproductive to that. President Mahmoud Abbas assured the world –”the Americans probably –” that the Palestinians would return to negotiations to solve final status issues even after the world recognizes the State of Palestine.

But even if they didn’t, this move at the UN is basically for recognition –” and to hold the international community responsible for protecting one of its states.

That is really what the US and Israel are worried about. While Israel has long shunned international resolutions, it will be a whole different ballgame once Palestine is able to raise Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians in the International Criminal Court and the Court of Justice. Certainly, a Palestinian state –” even one limited to the corridors of the UN –” is not in Israel’s interest for more than one reason. The ICC and ICJ are one. Also the fact that the borders of Palestine would hence be locked in as the internationally recognized (and thus occupied) borders of the State of Palestine, means Israel’s insatiable aspirations of grabbing more and more land will finally come to a stop.

The more the Americans push the more it becomes clear that they just want to save themselves the embarrassment. If they use their veto, it will throw them in a very bad light because, unlike the forces of good, the US would not have employed its power because it was right but because it was for Israel.

So, instead of doing the right thing –” standing alongside the Palestinians in their bid for independence –” it will do the cowardly thing and bow before the bully, even to its own detriment.

Ironically, it is Israel that is not in the United States’ interest in this case, not the Palestinians. Israel is forcing the US to go against its own policies of promoting peace and the will of the peoples in any region, including for Palestinians. It is forcing the Americans to say absurd stuff like “this is not in our interests” instead of encouraging a free, independent and secure Palestine.

But nobody gets taken advantage of unless they allow it. Let the United States veto Palestine. Let them take the rap for going against their own values. Then let them decide who serves their interests better.